I just got back from a week long mission trip in Mexico with my 15 year old son and 11 others from our church. I could share for hours about what I learned there but let me take a minute to share one of the main lessons that has been burning on my heart since getting back to Moose Jaw.
Mexico Mission 2013 was a wild, fun, crazy (crazy in Spanish is "loco") adventure. We woke up early every day - worked, planned, prayed, served, shared and played NON-STOP until late at night every day. We went to drug rehab centers (2), an orphanage (twice), a park party outreach, a worker's camp out in the boonies, feeding programs, door to door outreach, construction and more. We packed this all into one week. We were exhausted and yet SUPER ENERGIZED. I kept being amazed on the mission trip at how energized I felt each day even though we were tired and pushing ourselves right to the limit. As I reflected on this here is what I learned....
One time Jesus was tired and sat down to rest while his disciples went on to get some food (John 4). While resting Jesus had the chance to minister to a woman who needed love and Living Water. When the disciples returned they offered Jesus food and he said he didn't need it since his meat was to do the will of God. Here is what I think He was saying... "I was tired, but I ministered to this lady and I got so excited at seeing God work through me and in her life that now I am pumped and fired up and energized far more than a physical meal could have ever offered me!"
Having a sense of mission or purpose gives us energy. It gives us a reason to get out of bed in the morning. That's one reason why God says to "always abound in the work of the Lord." (1 Cor. 15:58) Have you ever been energized by simply serving God and seeing God work through you?
Now here is the challenge I have been giving myself since returning home to Moose Jaw. Why can't I live here and now energized with the purposes of God like I did in Mexico? Why can't I see my daily duties as infused with God's purposes and plan for me right here, right now? Heb. 12 tells me to "run the race set before me." There is a purpose for which I am here. Sometimes it's easier to see purpose in a far away land with some exotic ministry experience. But what about just talking with the lady at the store or the guy in my neighbourhood (like Jesus at the well in John 4) and expecting God to use me here? What about a conversation with my wife or one of my kids and experiencing God's purposes and work in my loving, discipling and serving them?
One of the most important ways to stay fully alive and engaged in God's kingdom is to see God's purpose in the simple and seemingly mundane things of life. To live each moment with expectancy that God wants to use us... especially in those moments that don't seem infused with purpose, we need to find God's purpose and live it. If you are bored here...you will be bored on the mission field as soon as the excitement of the new wears off. I guess what I am saying is...wherever you are...that is your mission field. Abound in God's work there and you will live more fully alive and in the adventure God has for you. That is what I am trying to do as I re-engage in life back here in at home. I hope you will do the same and enjoy and engage in the adventure God has for you here and now.